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Old May 6th, 2012, 03:09   #1
Epinephrine
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Reflection on the Engineer

Oracle suggested more "reflection" threads so here's mine.

The engineer was an appealing choice to me for several reasons:

1. It's one of the three medium armour types. I don't know why, but as much as I like casters, I just don't enjoy the bookish casters as much. Give me Harry Dresden in his leather duster. Leather armour give the combination of protection from mundane threats and mobility that I am envisioning, so at least for a first character it was going to be a medium armour profession.

2. Given the above, why not thief or ranger? Well, they were tempting, but I've played a lot of ranger in GW, and I never really felt I had a good connection with the assassin, so thief seemed suspect. My second most played class in GW was the ritualist, and I was curious how much the engineer resembled and differed from the ritualist, and whether they had managed to make a turret and support-type class feel fun and viable.

3. Explosions! Come on, who doesn't like a big bang. Between turrets and bombs, I figured it'd be exciting.

My thoughts about the Engineer:
1.) The weaponry is limited. Very much so - you have three choices of setup, for a total of 12 weapons skills.
Main pistol 1,2,3
Off-hand pistol 4, 5
Off-hand shield 4, 5
Rifle 1,2,3,4,5

Over the course of the event, I played with all three combinations (pistol/pistol, pistol/shield, and rifle); at first I really liked rifle, but later I found that I prefered pistol/shield for PvE, and Rifle for WvW.

Main-hand pistol: Main-hand pistol has two attacks with some degree of multi-target effect, the main auto-attack (explosive shot) and pistol 3, which is a blinding shot that bounces. Both of these are very solid. My one complaint about pistol 3 might be its tendency to recruit new opponents, as the bounce range is quite long, but I still really enjoyed it. Pistol 2 is a disappointment - the other two pistol powers are multi-target, pistol 2 is a pretty disappointing poison volley on a single target.

Off-hand pistol: These two (glue shot and flamethrower) are not bad, but they don't solve a problem I need solved. The glue shot IS nice, but flamethrower feels a little weak.

Shield: The reflecting shield is nice versus ranged foes, and can throw melee foes away, giving it a nice dual functionality. The blocking attack is nice anti- melee, but you can opt to throw the shield at a ranged foe to daze it. I found this extra bit of defense more valuable than the second pistol.

Rifle: It's an odd weapon, but I like it in WvW. The auto attack is a basic one target bit of damage. Rifle 2 is a net shot that immobilises, which is very handy in PvP, and not bad vs. one target in PvE. Rifle 3 is a bit lousy - you're using a ranged weapon, and you have a net shot to keep foes away, and then Rifle 3 want you to be close to deal some extra damage. Not my favourite. Rifle 4 is fun, it knocks the opponent flying and sprawls them prone; between this and net shot you can keep things away pretty nicely. Rifle 5 is a great utility skill for jumping places, but also does super damage, especially if you fire it at a foe right in front of you, as you hit twice.

Net shot and the knockback shot were instrumental in stopping fleeing foes in WvW; I can see how glue shot might also have worked, but the shield is really more of a PvE thing.

Now, the Engineer got more interesting with kits. Enginers don't get to swap weapons at 7th level, so you're pretty much stuck with whatever you have equipped, unless you want to wait until you are out of combat and poke around in your backpack. They do, however, get kits. I played around with grenades, bombs, and a flamethrower during the BWE.

Another thing about Engineers is that they get an F key (F1 to F4) with their utility skills - this is your toolbelt. For the turrets, the toolbelt skill is pretty much just detonating the turret, but for others it might be an interesting extra.

Grenades: All ground targeted, they offer a variety of blasts - normal blast, burning, frost, blinding, and poison. Not great damage-wise, but fun to lob at enemies. Hitting multiple foes makes them useful. The tool-belt skill for grenades was a triple grenade, which did a bit better damage but was a little lackluster.

Flamethrower: Tricky to use, you can't really strafe well with it, so I'm not sure how to use it best. The attacks are a little confusing - you have a basic spray attack that hits many times for small damage; flamethrower 2 is a ball of fire (single target I think) with a bit more range. Flamethrower 3 was a blast of air that throws foes away - that was fun to use. Flamethrower 4 was a wall of fire that seemed to be great if you could keep the enemy in it. Flamethrower 5 was odd, as it sucked the enemy to you in a backdraft, which seems counter intuitive - you probably don't want them closing with you. The toolbelt skill with flamethrower made your next hits cause burning, IIRC. It could be used with whatever weapon you had active, delivering burning with your rfle or pistol, or with the flamethrower itself (and presumably with other kits). Nice effect, but the recharge was a little too long IMO for the tool belt skill.

Bombs: I loved bombs. You plant them right where you are standing, so no trying to place the little green circle - it does mean that they are melee range or a little larger, though, so you'll take some damage with them. The bombs are very similar to the grenades, in that you get several flavours of bomb, though instead of poison you get a glue bomb, which is great when you are fleeing enemies - drop the glue bomb and run like crazy. The tool belt skill for bombs was a big keg-style bomb, throwing everything in a fairly big blast area flying. Great fun to use, and pretty decent damage.

Turrets. I didn't manage to unlock all the turrets this BWE, but I got three of them - rifle, rocket, and thumper.

Rifle is the cheapest, at a single skill point (IIRC). It does what it says on the package, setting up a turret that shoots things for you. It's nice in that it brings your expected damage up, and it seemed to recharge fast, so it wasn't a big deal to lose it. Not the strongest turret though. the secondary function is simply to fire faster for a period of time, boosting damage.

Rocket was more expensive, but did good damage at a range. It did seem to have targeting issues, sometimes firing repeatedly at a corpse. No complaints, overall. The secondary function seemed to knock foes around, which was a nice bonus.

Thumper turret was neat, in that it is more of a defensive turret - it pulses damage in an area around it, and has a secondary function that launches foes away.

Strategy I worked out, PvE:
With pistol and shield, I would have bombs as one of my utility skills, and thumper turret as the other. Between my skills, I thus have three skills that throw everything around me away: the big bomb, the thumper overcharged, and shield 4. I can engage many foes, lay bombs, and then blast everything away from me to minimise damage (use the thumper). Plant the big bomb after flinging them away, and detonate bombs as they rush back in, only to be flung away again. Plant a blinding bomb when they come back in, swap to pistol, shot with blinding and explosive (negating more hits), and then fling them away again with shield 4. Mop up whatever is left.

With three ways to fling enemies away and a pile of AoE damage (including two blinding attacks), you have pretty decent control over melee guys. Bombs suck versus ranged though, so you pretty much either chase them down, or rely on your pistol/shield for those.
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Last edited by Epinephrine; May 6th, 2012 at 21:41.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 15:34   #2
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Interesting. Sounds pretty complex but I'm much more likely to try this class next BWE now.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 17:04   #3
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Does it feel tacky playing a class with guns, bombs and turrets in a GW game? I'm interested in the engineer but it's looking like a gimmick class, a bit like a pure ritualist in GW2.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 18:39   #4
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@Mish: It's a little weird, and feels pretty limited until you start getting utility skills. Once you have room for a kit or two it's much better. If you give it a try, I'd recommend playing to at least level 5, if not 10 before making up your mind about it. The first levels are tough with only the one weapon set and few options.

@Locust: I guess it's a little tacky, but the Charr have always had explosives and such, so it's a natural progression. I enjoyed it, but it might just be me. I also enjoyed ritualists. One major difference is that at least from what I saw, you couldn't possibly imitate the ritualist builds typical in GW - no spirit spamming. Turrets provide some support, but you've GOT to be using your main weapon or a kit to keep the enemy busy. Turrets seem pretty fragile, so you need to be keeping some attention on yourself. Turrets deploy fast, so they don't tend to slow a party down, though the Engineer will want to pick them up after the battle, as you can't put a new one down until the old one is destroyed or you pick it up. To me, they played a little like a ritualist with a fair bit of casting, and a couple of spirits to support him. Combat was still very active.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 22:02   #5
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Re flamethrower, I'm thinking:
Plant fire-wall.
Backdraft -- Pull enenmy to you, through the wall of fire.
Air blast-- Shove your enemy away, through the wall of fire(again).

I was seeing some of the same sorts of things with my ele skills -- skills that by themselves were meh, but in combination could do neat stuff.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 22:04   #6
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For me the engineer seemed a little unintuitive. I found that if I ever got myself in melee range I would get smushed in half a second but my skills where encouraging me to do just that. With the rilfe I had a skill that only did max damage at short range, a skill that would rocket jump me into short range and a skill that would knock both myself and my target back. It seemed like 1) rocket jump 2) blunderbuss 3) overcharged shot was the obvious combo. In practice more times than not I would 1) rocket jump 2) bandage and hope for resurrection. Similarly the bomb kit only works at melee range where I would get smacked down before I could do anything worth while. I'm glad you had a better handle on it Epi because I certainly spent a lot of time on the ground. >.>
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Old May 6th, 2012, 22:36   #7
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Great post Epi thx, it was very interesting. I am still not sure whether I ll invest time in an engineer or not atm. In general I always liked engineer like classes in other games.

The times I pvped Engineers were my juiciest targets as warrior since their dmg output used to be so low. I think most people didnt know how to play them.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 22:59   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WetWookie View Post
For me the engineer seemed a little unintuitive. I found that if I ever got myself in melee range I would get smushed in half a second but my skills where encouraging me to do just that. With the rilfe I had a skill that only did max damage at short range, a skill that would rocket jump me into short range and a skill that would knock both myself and my target back. It seemed like 1) rocket jump 2) blunderbuss 3) overcharged shot was the obvious combo. In practice more times than not I would 1) rocket jump 2) bandage and hope for resurrection. Similarly the bomb kit only works at melee range where I would get smacked down before I could do anything worth while. I'm glad you had a better handle on it Epi because I certainly spent a lot of time on the ground. >.>
I agree that the rifle is a bit of a mixed bag. I tend not to use Jump Shot to close with folks; it blasts both your start area and your landing area, so you can use it to flee, but my preferred use is to get two hits by jumping on spot when someone closes with me, then use Overcharged Shot followed by Net Shot to knock them away and keep them back. Blunderbuss is just bad. It takes too long to load up, and doesn't have sufficient damage to justify using it. I agree that engineers are squishy. I found that in WvW I tended to catch stragglers for my group, preventing them from getting away - not taking folks on myself. If pursued, I'd put my bombs on, and just run dropping bombs behind me - chill or glue bomb would get them off my tail, generally, while the others just soften up anyone who wants to follow. Most enemies gave up after taking a dozen bombs to the face while trying to catch me.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 15:51   #9
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Despite feeling like they needed a hefty bit of tuning (which anet has commented that they agree on), I enjoyed the engineer, and still plan on playing one at release - for a support-centric characer, to me, they feel a heck of alot more interesting than a guardian.

Pros:

Pretty amazing combo potential. Engineers and Elementalists are both up at the top of the plate spinning, kit/attunement twisting combo potential. The fact that you can talent for a very short CD between kit swaps takes some of the sting out of the limited weapon selection.

Support is amazing. Elixer Gun is going to be my go-to WvW kit - it, like most of the kits, is due for a tuning pass, but the feel of the kit was spot on. The toolbelt ability also provides a nice secondary AoE heal, even when you don't have the thing equipped.

Survivability is insanely good. If you don't build for pure glass-cannonage, you can make an amazing pvp support build (which is what I plan on running around in 99% of the time) that is very much jack-of-all-trades. A DPS pass should up the damage to an acceptable level - again, it's something they said they're working on.

Amazing crit riders. If you build for maximized crit chance, you can do some pretty cool things. Blind on rifle crits sounds godly. Bleeds (not even close to condition necro levels, but still respectable) and burning are all easily talented into one way or another.

Great Elites: Mortar is fun, and should be amazing in sieges and keep defense in WvW. Supply drop is very strong. Elixer X is random (effectively randomly turning you into one of the Warrior/Ele/Necro transformaton elites) but fun. In PvE I'll probably run around with Charzooka for funsies anyway.

Cons:

DPS: A "good" Engineer crit is, roughly, 6k. A good warrior crit is 16. I'm not saying Engineers need to do comparable dps to a warrior - but there's definitely a gap.

Racial skills offer no toolbelt skill, making the admittedly slightly worse already racial utility spells even worse for an engineer, as you lose a fourth of your profession mechanic for picking one.

Turrets: Thumper and Rocket both do decent damage, but overall most turrets feel underpowered. In nearly all cases, a necro's minions (untalented) will do more damage, and generally survive a mess of AOE longer than an Engineers turrets - given that necro pets are mobile, I'd at least like turrets to have a bit of a survivability advantage. The other issue is with the toolbelt skills - when you drop a turret, your utility changes to "Overchage Turret" - which typically is a cooldown based ROF increase. Your toolbelt becomes "Detonate Turret" - which, not surprisingly, blows up your turret for AOE damage, and puts it on cooldown before you can set up another. The problem is, ingenuity - an engineer trait, provides shortened cooldowns on toolbelt skills - so it does nothing for an engineer stacking turrets. It's also in a trait line that includes the turret self-heal talent. The fix is simple, put overcharge on the toolbelt, and detonate on the utility bar - hopefully this is a change they make - I'm certainly not the first to suggest it.

Inbetween:

Gadgets are a mixed bag. (Gadgets being utility skills that are not kits, elixers or turrets). Most are incredibly good, with equally good toolbelt skills (5 stacks of vulnerability for the push of a button? Great!) but given the skill variety offered by kits, they feel a little lackluster in comparison. This may just be me though.

Elixers are similar. VERY useful, but, like above, a little boring. The most effective build I used in pvp in the beta was basically all elixers for utilities - turned basic rifle attack into a machine gun with heavy swiftness stacking.
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Old May 10th, 2012, 21:56   #10
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Quote:
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Gadgets are a mixed bag. (Gadgets being utility skills that are not kits, elixers or turrets). Most are incredibly good, with equally good toolbelt skills (5 stacks of vulnerability for the push of a button? Great!) but given the skill variety offered by kits, they feel a little lackluster in comparison. This may just be me though.

Elixers are similar. VERY useful, but, like above, a little boring. The most effective build I used in pvp in the beta was basically all elixers for utilities - turned basic rifle attack into a machine gun with heavy swiftness stacking.
Really? I found the gadgets lackluster for the most part. The goggles are an exception, being pretty strong. Rocket boots and personal battering ram were underwhelming. And I found most elixirs to be weak, as well. Maybe I used them wrong, it just felt like my other lines were much stronger.
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Old May 29th, 2012, 15:03   #11
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Engineers suck! .... or not?


.
Second link doesnt want to embed .... grrrr
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iewdwV5A8GU
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Old August 3rd, 2012, 02:32   #12
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Racials now have tool belt skills!

And turrets have had their tool belts (previously explode/deploy turrets) replaced with actual abilities that benefit from Ingenuity's cooldown reductions.

Other changes observed during stress test: http://www.guildwars2guru.com/topic/...ineer-changes/
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Old August 12th, 2012, 17:18   #13
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Here's my first shot at an engineer build at Lv80. I tended toward survivability and annoyance, much more than Crit/DPS. Anyway, I was really just playing around at Guru and stumbled on their Skill Calculator (which I didn't know they had). So blast away!

http://www.gw2db.com/skills/calc/eng...0|0|0|0|0|0|0|
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Old August 12th, 2012, 17:29   #14
Sol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vai View Post
Here's my first shot at an engineer build at Lv80. I tended toward survivability and annoyance, much more than Crit/DPS. Anyway, I was really just playing around at Guru and stumbled on their Skill Calculator (which I didn't know they had). So blast away!

http://www.gw2db.com/skills/calc/eng...0|0|0|0|0|0|0|
If you plan on using pistols in place of your kits much, right now, Incendiary Powder (33% chance for 2s burning on crit) in Tier 1 of explosives is almost a must have (as pistol #1 is an AoE - the two are very powerful combined).

If you do plan on mostly utilizing your kits - shield offhand is very nice for it's defensive abilities, now that they are fixed (they wern't working in the BWE and first couple stress tests) - that said, for flamethrower, glue shot is also some very nice control, so that's totally just a matter of preference.
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Old August 12th, 2012, 18:34   #15
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Nice find Vai! There's two engineer builds that interest me right now. Which one I pick will probably depend on how tired I am of a conditioning build after playing my ranger.

This one sounds fun if you want to be bleeding and burning people while laughing maniacally (or at least that's how I feel when I spread around the bleeding/burning love), but since that's the role I'm going to try for my ranger, I probably won't do it with engineer as well.
http://gw2skills.net/editor/en/?fcAQ...y2krJZTjFONMbA

This one is the eventual destination of the engineer I played BWEs 1 and 2. It was fun in the early levels, basically loading up your utility slots with elixers and then spamming the heck out of your toolbar skills. Alone it's a little slow going as your raw damage output isn't the greatest, but as soon as you get other people around the boons and healing you're tossing out make a noticeable impact.
http://gw2skills.net/editor/en/?fcAQ...y2krJZTjFONMbA

Edit: changed links to the better build tool
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